Often I will get inquiries from couples who are looking for their wedding photographer, assuming they have got in contact with myself because they like the work I have produced at previous weddings. When I later hear back from them that their friend has now offered to take the photos or that they have asked a friend to be their photographer I always have a sense of doubt.
Being a wedding photographer might look easy and fun, but with this role comes great responsibility as you are photographing the most important day of a couples life together and if you are not used to photographing such an important event it could be extremely stressful. Now imagine taking that into account before asking your friend to do the wedding photography. Do you want him/her to feel stressed at your wedding worrying whether they have done enough or whether they have missed anything? Or would you rather them enjoy the day like a guest? Also, if they are a guest the likelihood of them having a drink to celebrate may hinder the quality of the photos.
To put it in perspective for you when I’m photographing an event, I personally feel like I’m not taking it in as I would a guest because I am having to think about other things at the same time like different shots to take, settings and what’s coming up next during the day. Now when it comes to personal family occasions I prefer being able to take in the moments and memories rather than capturing them. The reason for this is because it is a different feeling altogether and it makes me feel like I’m a part of the occasion.
Still considering asking them?
Remember, it really isn’t about having all the gear, you probably know the saying ‘all the gear and no idea’. You might assume that by your friend having a fancy camera that they are fit for the job, think again, there are so many elements of photography with the most important I personally feel being ‘having the eye’. You will only know if they have ’the eye’ if you can see their work…
If you have seen their amazing car photography, ask if they have actually photographed people, because photographing the two things are completely different. When I first started photographing people I’m going to be honest, I found it a bit awkward, I didn’t know how to direct as this comes with practice and thankfully I can now direct confidently and creativity!
Having spoken to couples who are married and on the subject of their wedding photography, it makes my heart sink when I hear they are not happy with their photos as they aren’t what they imagined because they didn’t hire a professional or view the photographers’ work beforehand. Other than the dress, the rings and the memories, I see wedding photography as the only tangible thing you get from your wedding. Can you trust your friend with this responsibility?
If they aren’t a professional don’t expect a professional because after the event this could hinder the relationship with the photographer. Imagine having to answer the question, ‘why haven’t you shared any of the photos I’ve taken on social media?’ when the truth is you don’t actually like them.
As you are coming to the end of this blog post take the time out to research what a professional can bring to the table, whether that be the photos they can achieve, a contract, or advice from real wedding situations.
If you do ask your friend to be your photographer don’t compare the photos of your wedding day to a professionals’ and wish that you have chosen differently because once the day is over and the photos are taken there is no re-do.
I just can’t heart hearing disappointing stories from couples who wished they did differently so I hope this post helps someone from having the same story.